Thursday, April 28, 2011

Favorite audio book series

I love to listen to audio books.  I usually listen to them on my commute to work and when I clean the house and occasionally in my office.  A good audio book narrator can do wonders for a book and bring it to life.  Sometimes I can listen to a book and know that I never would have made it through it reading it, but because a great narrator, I can finish it on audio.

1. The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling- read by Jim Dale. 
Jim Dale is an amazing narrator and I could listen to him all day. 
2. The Charlie Bone series by Jenny Nimmo - first five read by Simon Russell Beale, subsequent books read by Simon Jones. 
At first I wasn't happy about the narrator change.  I hate that.  But Simon Jones is a great reader and so I didn't mind.
3. A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket - read by Timy Curry.
This is another series that had a narrator change.  Books 3-5 are read by the author Daniel Handler took over narrator duties.  While he is just alright, Tim Curry is the better narrator.  He has the perfect voice for this gothic, dark-humored series.  And that leads to ...

4. The Old Kingdom series by Garth Nix - read by Tim Curry. 
Garth Nix is one of my favorite authors and so far I have had good luck with his books.  Tim Curry is once again the perfect narrator for this dark series filled with zombies, magic, and supernatural creatures.  His voice for the cat Mogget is dead on.

5. The Key to the Kingdom series by Garth Nix - read by Allan Corduner. 
I really love this whole series even if it gets a bit formulaic in the middle.  Allan Corduner does a great job of bringing Arthur and the denizens of the House to life.
6. The Bartimaeus series by Jonathan Stroud - read by Simon Jones. 
Jones is the absolute best voice for Bartimaeus.  I could not imagine a better voice.  In much the same way that Jim Dale is cemented in my mind as the voice of Harry Potter, Simon Jones is Bartimaeus.  He does a great job with the djinni's sarcastic voice and footnotes.
7. The Bloody Jack series by L.A. Meyer - read by Katherine Kellgren.
Admittedly I have not gotten very far in this series (I'm only on book 2) but I am loving Kellgren's voice for Mary "Bloody" Jack Faber.  Kellgren also does a fine job on The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place series.
8. The Nancy Drew series by Carolyn Keene - read by Laura Linney (the first 7) and various other narrators  . 
I spent all of last reading all 56 original Nancy Drew books and I tried to listen to all the audios.  All the narrators do a great job.  My favorite is Laura Linney.  She does a very nice job of brining Nancy to life and striking the right tone.  The music is great and really adds to the overly dramatic tone of the story.

9. The Wolves of Mercy Falls series by Maggie Shiefvator - read by Jenna Lamia, David Ledoux (Shiver); Jenna Lamia, Dan Bittner, Pierce Cravens, Emma Glavin (Linger)  . 
With the increase of POVs in the book, the amount of narrators increases.  I find that (Grace) has the slowest voice and sometimes it can be grating but overall they are beautiful books and the narrators do a great job.  This is one series that I can honestly say that I don't know if I would have made it reading it, but the audio is just that great.
10.  The Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich - read by Lorelei King.
Stephanie Plum is one of the best book characters and I love all the books.  King does a great voice for her.  This is another series that changed narrators and I liked C.J. Critt (she narrated the first set of books) too.  I've notice lately that most of Janet Evanovich books are read by one or the other of these narrators.  I guess they just fit her books.

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